Life Is But A Dream

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story written for Obscure's Horror Contest. Based on the word prompt, a man, troubled by remorse after his accidental killing of his younger sister, seeks retribution and release from the horrible life he has ended up living.

Submitted: May 20, 2016

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Submitted: May 20, 2016




  The dream was being repeated. The cycle just wouldn't break. Norman was flying away. Away from it all. Voices were heard back there, screams, slaughter, blood and gore. He was on his father's parachute. He had once served in Aviation, and one of his parachutes was stored in the basement. Norman was always taking it and flying away from the mess. The air waves carried him away, as he was struggling to remain oblivious to the murders he was leaving behind. And then the scene always cut to a portrait of his. A Glorious portrait, meticulously detailing everything on his face. His external angles, his abstract smile, his finely cut black hair, and the black suit and tie.

Until the screams returned, with blood being spilled on the portrait. The blood drops trickled down the face, the nose, the mouth. And that was when he always woke up.
That chilly, misty morning though he was decided to tell his therapist. Something had to be done. He inferred the incessantly repeated dream must have been some sort of reaction to the memories he was trying to forget. How fifteen years ago, his younger sister was injured by a car, driven by 5 drunk idiots, in the middle of the road, early in the morning. She was riding her bike, when it all happened too fast. And the worst thing was, he was amongst those 5 drunk idiots. They had tried to evade the girl, before Norman realized it was his sister, but it was too late. The police had not condemned them though, because they never found out they were drunk. They had gotten off the car, scared to death, Norman rushing to perform CPR on his injured sister, and rushed to the ER of the small town. They all had their hearts on their mouths, until the horrible news came to them. Norman himself, driving the car, had never forgiven himself, and he had run to the police, to tell them. His friends were never revealed to have been drinking, as Norman stated he was driving. But. Parents had been dead for years by a disease, and he was his sister's Guardian. Who knew he would also be the one to kill her like that. Evidence on the road had shown his sister's bike had also appeared suddenly on the road, and that Norman was actually driving the car properly. Eventually, Norman was freed, but not before years of trials and emotional torture. It was accidental. Would he ever want to kill his sister?.He had also been imprisoned for at least 5 years before he was let out on restrictive parole. Eventually, years afterwards, he was freed, but his life and soul had followed his sister. The 5 friends had drifted apart for years after that, but recently they were linked again, following the murder of two of them.
Funny thing was, it had happened shortly after the dreams had started. Norman heard it on the news, how Jake and Linda, whom he had not seen for years, had been found with their throats slit at home. Norman had called Sue and Jared, the other two to meet up with him. They were all crestfallen to hear it, having barely managed to get over the shock of the young girl they ran over.
"Why is this happening to us?" Sue wondered in tears, in Norman's empty, cold house. 'Who would even kill Jake and Linda?''
''Whoever it was, they are still out there, the police have not had a lead yet" Norman stated. "The town is small, we have to be very careful out there."
There was another upsetting fact about the murders. The murderer had been seen wearing a black mask and a full black Reaper suit. Jake and Linda had been killed with a Scythe.
"Who in their right mind would dress up as the Ripper to end our friends?" a baffled Jared was wondering.
Eventually, they had left, agreeing to stay in touch if they heard anything more, and Norman had visited his therapist, Tatia. "It's just..this weird dream I've been having.." he was saying, after he had filled her in on everything else in the previous sessions."I know you're gonna say it will have something to do with my sister, and the murders..."
"Norman" Tatia said quietly. ''Why don't you tell me about the dream?"
And he told her about the screams, the slaughter, how he flew away on his father's parachute. How his portrait was covered in blood.
''You know, Norman, Dreams always bare a truth in them. Whatever you see, might not eventually happen, but is a beckon of something you want, something you desire, or something you want to shun. You have had a lot on your plate, understandably. You need to start asking yourself how truly over you are what you did.....What with these murders arising of late.."
Back home he always thought the therapist was never truly helping, until he usually realized she was right. But was he over the whole thing? Years had passed and the scar was still there. He had gotten away with it. He had killed his sister. And now two of his best friends, once at least, were killed off by a psycho. Who would do that? His first suspicions were cast on Kenneth, his sister's boyfriend back in the days. Sue had presented this idea. Could Kenneth have been mad at them for what they had done to his sister? But no, Norman remembered him. He was always quiet and innocent. Why turn into a maniac? He had been pretty devastated too, but after all those years..Would he bare such a grudge? Wouldn't he understand they did not want to do it?

It was a frisky September Friday when Jared was headed to his place, to talk about the latest news. He parked his car at the front yard of the old Elizabethan house of Norman. His parents and sister also used to live there, but now he was alone in what seemed like a giant, now unwelcoming , engulfing hole. Jared put on his trench coat, as he headed to the door. That's when he thought he heard something.
Looking around, he saw the leaves shuffling in the wind, as the air rustled through them. Tuning around, he could feel another presence around him. But only the whistling of the currents spoke back. He knocked on the door once, when he felt two strong hands shoving him back. He hit the ground, and then quickly tried to stand up. And he saw it; The Reaper. A person dressed in a full black gown, with a hood covering a hideous mask of a black skull. The eyes behind it were hazily distinguished, but menacingly looking at him, as the hands in the black leathery gloves raised a long, wooden scythe with a sharp metal blade.
"No, please…No..Who are you???" he tried to scream, before he felt a singe down his throat. Putting his hand there, he noticed the blood oozing out like a rivulet, where the big Scythe had sliced. He now saw why the Ripper did it. So that his victims could not scream, as they died. He tried. He tried to yell as much as he could, but his vocal chords where a mess of sinewy tissues and skin, and only a desperate whizzing would come out. He looked at the trees, and how peacefully they waved in the wind. The Ripper then shoved his scythe into his heart, penetrating his body, and released at once, ending him....


  The police had taped Norman's backyard, and had declared the place a crime site. For the next few days, Sue had offered to accommodate him, until the mess wears off. She was also living alone, having moved there for studies.
"Thank you for taking me, Sue. And Apologies for the cops guarding your place too. They wanted to keep me escorted wherever I was"
"You kidding? It is way better this way. I am truly scared Norman. I feel like Karma is trying to end us all after what we did. Else why are we the only targets? And why are the police so bad at doing their job? And Jared...'she said whimpering....'What did he do........."
"Well, they wouldn’t believe me when I proposed the killer could be after us for what happened fifteen years ago. Said the case was considered closed."
"How about Kenneth?"
"I told them to look into it, but they called him at the station and he was not even informed of the murders. He had a perfect alibi. He just returned to the town. Following sister’s death he had left"
Sue now  seemed let down. Norman could see the fear in his eyes. As he sipped his chocolate which Sue had made for both, he looked at the mirror behind her. Weird flashes of light crossed his mind, and then he dropped the cup down at once, when he saw it. The Reaper....Staring at him, and him only, from the mirror,
"God, are you ok, Norman?" Sue asked, running to him, "Norman what is it?" she said, looking at the mirror, but not seeing anything.
" sorry...I just,..I thought I saw something....Apologies...The police are down at the door, there’s no one here..It must have been just me.."
"Well, we are all shocked by all that..."
"Sorry I spilled the chocolate..I've made a mess.."
"No worries..I'll get a mop..."
The days were passing, and Norman with Sue were truly starting to lose hope of ever redeeming themselves.. People were getting more and more anxious about the killer on the loose, and the two were afraid for their lives every step they took. One night, Norman decided to go back to his old place, to see if he could find any trace of the killer. He wanted Sue to stay back, but she had insisted, despite for fear. She wanted to get a lead too, unable to wait for the police. So they evaded the tapes and used an old key Norman had to enter the huge house from the back.
"Let's be careful" he whispered to her, as they turned on their flashlights..."They might hear us..."
As they scanned the place for evidence, Norman explained.
"When Jared came, I was right here in my room. I heard a knocking, and got down...Perhaps the killer sneaked in from the same door we came in now.."
"Maybe..." Sue said, trembling, realizing there was a trail of blood below their feet. She almost screamed, but tried to contain her voice, knowing there were patrols down at the front yard.
"Oh god..what the hell?" Norman said. They saw the blood was quite dried out."He must have crossed my room to escape the crime scene."
They then saw the trail was leading to the closet itself. Sue carefully approached it, and tried to open it. She jolted back when she did, and Norman shed the light in it. Sue grabbed his hand, in fear. As the door creaked ajar, they saw Norman's clothes messed up and scattered all over the closet floor.
"Probably took some of yours to change his appearance.."Sue inferred.
"Yeah.."Norman retorted.
Soon after that, another painful flash struck him, followed by a crick on his shoulders and spine. He could now see the portrait again, drenched and saturated in blood. Then the parachute came to his mind again, the dream itself was being repeated. He dropped to his knees, his head killing him. He was flying away with the thing..Away from the slaughter.......From everything.....Screams..Blood.....Terrible yelling.......And blood again....
It was now scattered all over..On his hands, his face, his feet....And the portrait of his was no longer smiling..The viscous, coppery, deep red substance glimmered under some light as his face was soaked in it....And the screams again....The terrible screams....Metallic sounds of blades, crushing bones and tearing skin apart....muscle by muscle....tissue by tissue, as warm blood oozed out, drenching him...Him....And his black boots...His black gloves...His black gown..His black mask......
When the flashes stopped, screams were heard everywhere and the hustle from the police raiding the house was increasing. What the hell had he done? The lights had been turned on by the police from the switch downstairs, and he realized he was standing above Sue's massacred corpse. Her throat was sliced in a million pieces, her abdomen was torn apart, entrails oozing out, as her stomach and liver pulsated in the bloody mess...Norman himself was in his Reaper suit....And the memories quickly came back.....
Of how he had killed his own sister..The screams when he saw her momentarily shocked before the car hits her. How they all got out to help her..How her throat in particular had been bruised so badly, she could not breathe..No, Tatia. I have not recovered, he wanted to tell his therapist now. I never had. Never freaking had.
And then he remembered how years passed and wanted to send off the anger and rage he had inside him to the people with him when it happened. How could they have excused themselves so bad? He remembered now why they had drifted apart. Not just because of what had happened with the jail, but because they saw a way out. Norman was the driver, and he told the police about his fault. Why should they say anything about them? Assholes. Norman had been blinded by sadness and the amuck of what had happened. But he later saw how conveniently the rest wanted to escape. And he loathed them for that.
He remembered that evening he bought the Halloween costume. When he took the blade from his father's harvesting machine to make the Scythe.
And mostly, as the police were coming upstairs, he remembered Jake and Linda. How easily he had hit two birds with one stone. Oh, how cozy these two lovebirds were, enjoying their movie at home. And how not cozy they were when their guts were ripped out. How Jared was heading to his house, to "talk" , probably as fake consolation now that they were all in danger. How his throat was opened. And then how he ran to his house, Jake's blood on his hands dropping down, as he headed for the closet to change quickly and pretend he was unaware of what had happened. Idiots.They all deserved to die..And Sue, Oh, poor Sue., the scaredy cat..Good thing her bowels were now on his feet..
And now the cops were upstairs, pointing guns at him, ready to end him.
"Drop the Scythe and hands up!"
They could not see him behind the mask, but Norman smiled. He knew it was ending, but not without a fight. The dreams were a projection of his subconscious. The Reaper was his Alter Ego. It completed him in a dark, twisted way. For all these years, he could not control his two natures. But now it was clear who he had to be. Who he deserved to be.
He released the scythe with extreme force unto one of the three cops, stabbing him in the eye, as he dropped dead to the ground. As the rest got to call for reinforcements, he evaded two bullets and shoved the other one down.
"Get off him, you freak!"the third shouted, unloading half the magazine on his colleague, as Norman used him for a shield. Two of the bullets found Norman in the abdomen though.  And then, reclaiming his scythe from the dead body, he stabbed the cop, nailing him to the wall, all the way up. When he released, the cop came down, but without his intestines.
Citizens were inevitably alarmed, and police cars were on the way, as he tried to find a way to escape. He remembered the basement. Running down there, he passed by a mirror, and saw the Reaper staring back at him. This now made sense. It was his true self. His true nature.
Reaching the Basement, he found the stored parachute, and ran to the roof. All gates were tape closed, so it was his only way out. As he ascended the stairs, he heard more men coming in the house, shooting his way. When he opened the lichgate to the roof, he momentarily stared down at the room. At the slaughtered bodies of the cops and Sue, and then at the drawing of him. He recalled his trip to Argentina, where a local street painter had drawn him. And now he saw how the portrait was spilled with the blood of his victims and his, as he tried to pass it by to reach the basement.
The bullets almost reached him, as he tripped on the stairs , trying to reach the roof.
"He's escaping! Get him" cops were shouting.
Norman then knew what he had to do. Opening the jacket, he released the straps and tied them tightly around his waist. The pressure they put on his bleeding wound was killing him, but he had to do it. Trails of blood were left behind him, as he removed the Reaper Suit to get rid of extra weight. The policemen knew him around, and were shocked to see it was eventually Norman.
But before they could manage to put him down, he had opened the parachute and flown away, into the nearby woods, fulfilling the dream. As the wind lifted him up, he could hear the startled mobs of people below him shouting he was crazy and had gone full psychotic. But he did not care. He had ended them. All 4 of them, who had forgotten her..His young sister..Oh, dear sister...You should be here..To see me end them...To see me avenging you.....
Scorching pain was now getting to him, as he started losing height. Heading for the dark woods, he smiled, watching his blood dropping all the way to the ground below him, as he slowly started to fade.
Was it all worth it then? Was it truly deserving of his friends, what he did? How he had become a murderer..A beast....
But at least he was now released..Of that horrid dream...Of those terrible flashes..Of this petrifying hex on him, never letting him rest for years.....
He figured, his therapist was right, after all...Dreams always bare a truth to them.....And this, had been his truth.....As his body collapsed from the broken device down to the woods, the police raided the area, looking for his body. The funniest thing was, when they found him, a smile was formed on his face, right where his broken scythe and parachute were, beside his lifeless corpse.
"Hang in there" he had thought to himself before the fall, "I am coming to you, little sister"..............................................


© Copyright 2019 James Kingston. All rights reserved.

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